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  • I've got a few days in Shanghai on the way back from a work trip... I'm supposed to be working but meetings fell through. Any suggestions for what I should do? staying near Jing'An park

  • Eat lots of shengjian bao. Loads of spots around Shanxi Road metro for that. Just point and smile. The Shanghainese are very friendly.

    The French concession area round there is lovely.

    Propaganda museum is cool.

    Fake market for glasses. Branded frames for ~10% of U.K. retail price.

  • Power station gallery worth a visit

  • Apart from the fact it stops precisely nowhere, (but has plenty of taxis at ground level),
    have you been on the Airport Maglev?

    Underground market for pretty much anything!
    We stopped by one stall selling (counterfeit Northface walking shoes).
    Asked about Vibram soled walking boots. We were invited to have a cup of tea.
    Within 10 minutes the stall runner was back with a selection of Vibram-soled footwear.
    (mespilus jr. was growing through shoe sizes rather than wearing them out,
    so we bought a selection).
    The Railway under the river is twee.
    TV tower is overpowering with its acrylic walkaround floor.

    Edited to replace my erroneous 'Bullet Train with Maglev'.
    A Senior moment.

  • Thanks for that all... I'd already planned a visit to the fake market and it turns out Shanxi Road metro is close to my hotel so that's buns covered too (my hotel only seems to do French food, bizarrely). Art, fakes, propaganda, tourist views, buns and dumplings seems to be the plan for me then.

    Apart from the fact it stops precisely nowhere, (but has plenty of taxis at ground level),
    have you been on the Airport Bullet Train?

    Planning to do it on the way back to the airport if only so I can tick off the maglev train ride on the "stuff I wanted to do as a kid" list.

  • Look out for people doing jian bing at breakfast too. They’re nice enough but watching them being made is the best bit.

    Was surprised last year at how cashless China has become. The stalls will take cash but don’t try and use a 100rmb note for 12rmb of dumplings and expect not to cause a big fuss.

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  • I've got alipay apps (both HK and China), do they take that? Also, are cabs cash like HK? I was caught out by cash-only there and ended up having to get an expensive cash advance from my hotel

  • maglev train ride

    Yep, it's a bit more impressive than the Gatwick Shuttle.

  • You’re laughing with Alipay. Everyone takes it.

  • edit: never mind

  • Ahhh shit sorry I haven't logged in in a while! If you're still in Shanghai @atz then let me know, I live here!

  • I actually find the maglev really scary so don't recommend it to people... I'm not keen on dying at high speed over a wasteland in Pudong new district.

  • Though if you're staying anywhere on the east side of the river I suppose the maglev is quite convenient, and literally anything is better than line 2 to the airport.

  • My recommendations for things to do in SH:

    1. Walk along the Bund, take the public ferry over to the other side,
      gawp at tall buildings and have lots of people try to take pictures
      of you
    2. Go to a temple: Jing'an Temple is the most convenient but it's not the best or in anyway authentic. Longhua Temple is really nice and serene. Jade Buddha Temple has (surprise!) a massive jade buddha.
    3. The French Concession (or the french connection, as my mum calls it) is great for a wander, Tianzifang is good but touristy. Xintiandi is shit.
    4. Some good museums: Propaganda Museum, Shanghai Museum, Urban Planning Museum (my fave), West Bund art museums (power station, yuz, long museum, etc)
    5. The water towns nearby can be nice, I think Zhujiajiao is the easiest to get to (on line 17) though I've never actually been. Nicer ones are further away.
    6. Shopping - Huaihai Road is better than Nanjing Road. Swankiest malls are IAPM, IFC, Kerry Centre. Fake market is beneath the Science & Tech Museum on line 2, it's quite an experience but you can get some good stuff.
    7. Treat yourself - massages, bathhouses etc. Chinese massage is great and it's so cheeeeeap. Just don't accidentally go to a brothel like someone I know... There are a few bathhouses in SH, the korean or japanese ones are best, you bathe naked so don't go if you don't like lots of nudity.
    8. Have a cocktail at sunset by the Bund - Captains or Pop Bar are my choices.
    9. Too much food to list.... Shanghainese food is (in my opinion) horrible, but there's food from all over China and the rest of the world, ranging from cheap but delicious, to eyewateringly expensive but (hopefully) mouthwateringly good.

    That's all I can think of for now, I should get back to work...

  • I'm in Nanjing at the moment and taking a visit to Shanghai and Suzhou on the weekend and hopefully to the Huangshan mountain area the next, any suggestions/anyone gone to the mountains before?

  • I've been to Huangshan twice - once to the actual mountain and once to the general vicinity.

    For the mountain itself, there's now a high speed rail line to Huangshan North station opened last year, though if you're going from Nanjing then just take the K train. I went before the HSR opened so took train K645 (overnight) to Huangshan station (which is not actually that close to Huangshan!). From there you have to take a bus (or taxi) to Tangkou, which is where the entrance to the 'scenic area is' (takes maybe 30 mins by bus). When you get to the scenic area, you need to buy an entrance ticket to the scenic area and a ticket for the bus to wherever you want to go on the mountain. There are a couple of cable cars (likely to be busy) plus walking routes. I arrived at Huangshan at 10am or something so walked up the West Steps (12k) that day, stayed at the top, then walked down the East Steps (7k) the following day. All the hotels are shit, I stayed at one in the Beihai area at the summit. The weather at the top is notoriously awful, it rained a lot when I was there, no sunset as it was just a huge cloud. Got up at 4am for the sunrise, which was PHENOMENAL. After I walked down the East Steps I got a mini bus back to the scenic area entrance and stayed in Tangkou overnight, not a lot to do there but it's very chilled and cheap and I actually quite liked it as far as random chinese towns go. The following day I got a bus back to the train station, though actually I missed the train cos I'm a moron, but that's another story. Tips: make sure your bag is waterproof, take a travel towel, have a raincoat with you, take snacks, beware of crowds, watch out for monkeys. I think I wrote a blogpost about it if you are really bored and want to read it, can find the hotel links too.

    I went to the Huangshan region again this year, drove there, stayed in a homestay in a village - it's a cycling/running/hiking homestay, would totally recommend:

  • Aha brilliant. Thanks this is perf. My plan was to get the 5 hr train (think they're all 5 hrs) from Nanjing at 530 on a friday, is the latest train, and stay a night in Huangshan city, then the morning, get the bus in climb a bit, stay night on the top as you did, get the sunsets and rises and then leave kiddish day Sunday?

    I'll take this to PMs if you don't mind, don't want to clutter this thread unless no one cares.

    My mandarin is non existent and ability to locate hotels etc likely also considering I don't have an eye for the symbols. Am tryna formulate the foolproof plan.

  • Sounds like a good plan! Feel free to PM me.

    I gave another friend (who speaks/reads zero chinese) the same plan so it should be doable with no chinese skills though I can't guarantee foolproof as TIC (This Is China). When I was at the top of the mountain the visibility was terrible so seeing the signs wasn't always easy but they were in chinese and english.

  • Wechat has a strange AR chinese character to english (or vice versa) thing. Came in useful once or twice for me in Shanghai but mostly I got the latin character set telling me something that made no sense. Someone on the flight home told me that it was more useful for writing something in English and translating to chinese but who knows

  • Ahh interesting, have not yet unlocked the full potential of WeChat. Something else that rocks my world is baidu translate, have had a few conversations speaking into it on someone else's phone.

    Issue is I have an android and no bon on the phone and can't seem to get play store open to download any apps. I've tried getting them off the web but hasn't seemed to work that well, and it's all in Chinese so have had someone helping.

  • Google doesn’t work well/at all in China (maps particularly).

  • A chinese friend told me that google is blocked in china because google wants to spy on chinese people and know what they're searching for - that privilege is reserved for baidu and the government. (disclaimer: I use baidu maps)

  • I found Apple maps worked fine in Shanghai, Google maps worked but everything had a 200-300m drift so it was fine for working out how far something was from something else but not routing (as seen by my shit show mobike navigation)

  • Yep, apple maps is fine and pretty up-to-date. Like you found, google maps drifts all over the place and it's also not totally current, there are metro lines missing from it apparently. Even if you can read chinese, the mapping situation is pretty poor here - the map in the equivalent of yelp is absolutely horrible and once asked me to scale a wall. Baidu maps also suggested swimming across a river, I was not impressed.

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